Yolanda “Yo” Iheakauila O Kamalu Poehere Amen (Director/Instructor)
Kevin “Ariimoana” Amen
In 1978 when I heard Pam Pam drumming in the halls of Edison high school in Stockton, I had to find out what was behind it. It was then that I was introduced to the Polynesian culture. From that day on I’ve been hooked. I joined Lehuanani’s Polynesian dance group under the direction of Frank and Marilyn Salgado. This is where I learned my love for Tahitan dancing. After Frank and Marilyn moved, I still wanted to learn more about the Polynesian culture. That’s when I joined Te Poe O Patitifa, under the direction on Ioane Joel Burns. I was given the opportunity to visit Tahiti to learn more about the culture and to meet the Tahitian People who we now call Family. Auntie Betty Who passed away in 2005, helped me form a bond that will never be broken. This has also given me the opportunity to train under Poema Poihipapa and Heiti from Papeete as well as Kohai the lead dancer from Tamariki Poerani.
Matthew Makanalani Teanuanua Amen (Drummer/Choreographer)
Matt made his dancing debut at the Tahiti fete of Stockton, California in 1985. He danced and drummed for Lehuanani’s Polynesian dance group for 15 years under the direction of Frank and Marilyn Salgado, and Mia-Mae Cummings. In 1997, He joined the group Te Poe O Patitifa (Pearls of the Pacific) under the direction of Ioane “Joel” Burns of Huahine. Matt has traveled numerous times to Tahiti, Huahine, Moorea and Hawaii, observing, researching, and perpetuating the Polynesian culture. His mission is to help create a family operated organization that offers different extra-curricular and cultural activities for people of all ages within the Stockton community for many years to come. His specialty is choreography (Ote’a, Aparima, Ahuroa), song writing, drumming composition and has mastered the Tari Parau (Tahitian Bass Drum).
Colie MoeMoea Amen
Colie a mother of 2 (Eulalia & Ezra), has been dancing since she was 2 years old! She began her dancing career with Lehuanani’s under the direction of Frank and Marilyn Salgado and later, Mia-Mae Cummings. In 1997 Colie joined Te Poe O Patififa under the direction of Ioane Joel Burns. After moving to Las Vegas, she danced with Tevaka Nui under the direction of Henry and Yvette George. She has participated in numerous dance competitions such as, Kiki Raina Tahiti fete of Merced, Tahiti Fete of San Jose, Tahiti Taurua Nui I Las Vegas, Kori Kori Tahiti Fete of Las Vegas, Tarena Tahiti in San Francisco, Heiva I Reno and Hura Tahiti in Fullerton, Ca, where she has become an award winning dancer. Colie has studied and mastered the technique of Traditional Tahitian dancing and is continuing to share her knowledge with others in our community.
Marcus Abraham AriiMana Amen (Lead Drummer/Musician/Choreographer)
Marcus started dancing in 1997 for Te Poe O Patitifa under the direction of Ioane Joel Burns. In 2004 Marcus became interested in drumming. He began with the Fa’akete and then moved onto Tari Parau then to the Toere. He then taught himself to play the Ukelele. When Tamari`i Matairea was formed in 2006 Marcus became the lead drummer and lead musician and Tane Choreographer.
Sean Tehauarii Amen
Choreographer for Tane and Tamaroa.
Melanie-Marie Maruina Amen (Instructor/Choreographer)
Melanie has been dancing since the age of 2, she began with Te Poe O Patitifa Under the direction of Joel Ioane Burns. She has competed in many Tahitian dance Competitions in cities including Merced, San Jose, Fullerton, Reno, and Las Vegas. She has also had the opportunity to dance in Tahiti, where she placed first in the Ori Tahiti Nui World Championships 2015! Melanie’s Facebook page is here.
Eulalia Hereiana Phoenix Berbano
Ezra Daniel Orion Berbano
Our little “angels” the Grandbabies!